Polish plate mill up for sale again after buyer misses payment deadline

Huta Częstochowa Photo: Wojciech Barczyński

Polish heavy plate mill Huta Czestochowa has been ordered by a local court to be put up for sale again via an auction or a tender after the previous takeover deal with investment company Sunningwell Steel Polska fell through over the payment for the mill, Dominik Bogacz, press officer at the local court in Czestochowa, said Oct 8.

“Sunningwell did not pay the money because the deed was not ready. There is no proper inventory of assets, which makes the transaction illegal. Hence, Sunningwell and the trustee have applied to the court to extend the term of the offer,” said Marek Frydrych, president of the board at Sunningwell.

According to Bogacz, the court rejected Sunningwell’s request to push back the payment of the price agreed at Zloty 220 ($58) million. At the same time, the court ordered the mill’s current bankruptcy trustee to call for a new tender or auction within 14 days.

The court also asked the trustee to address the issue of the Huta Czestochowa lease, which was granted to Sunningwell over a year ago and expired on Sept 19.

Bogacz added that Sunningwell would not be considered as a potential buyer in the future sale process as it was found unable to meet its financial obligations previously. Sunningwell’s president noted he was still interested in buying Huta Czestochowa.

According to local press, another company with interest in buying the Polish mill in the past was Corween Investment, part of the Liberty Group. The company was reported to have submitted an offer and made a pledge to pay Zloty 2 million ($530,000) over the initial asking price set at Zloty 220 million to beat Sunningwell’s bid. However, the offer came after the deadline and was not accepted.

— Wojtek Laskowski